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MS demos muscle-controlled games

Forearm band realises air guitar.

Boffins at Microsoft have worked out a way to control games using the muscle movements in your forearm.

These are read by a thin armband concealed under a jumper or shirt that is always on, allowing seamless interaction with games consoles, iPods and, er, car boots.

Demoed on Microsoft's Research site (spotted by Engadget), the device reads EMG (electromyographic) signals from muscles and maps them to familiar movements - pressing a finger to a thumb - to replicate routine functions or commands.

One lab-rat strummed away happily to Guitar Hero without any plastic peripheral, twanging air while using fingers pressed against thumb to work the fret. We also saw a jogger using hand gestures rather than buttons to change songs, and a man clench the handle of a baby carrier to open a car boot.